Up front, the Accent looks like exactly what it is; the younger, smaller sibling of the Elantra with the same kind of bug-eyed smile.
The Accent's biggest design accolade goes to the sedan, which manages to be a well-proportioned sub-compact. This isn't easy to pull off; the Ford Fiesta sedan looks like a miniature hat you'd make your Shih Tzu wear.
On the road, the Accent drives and handles with straightforward purpose. The automatic transmission is clearly geared toward efficiency, and will upshift with according zest. Meanwhile, the manual transmission's shifter has a very light feel to it and would be an asset for those learning to shift or anyone rowing their gears through the sea of Los Angeles traffic.
Maximum horsepower comes at a high 6,300 rpm, so expect the engine to get noisy when you need to really push the car.